[updated] USF1 Lays Off Remaining Employees


What Happens When Even Sad News Is News

3:05pm EST — So, it ends for USF1.  In an article just published, Autosport said, “shortly before lunchtime, production manager Dave Skog informed those staff who had remained at the team during its recent troubles that they were being laid off.”  Apparently, those employees “are no longer required as the operation was not continuing.”  The publication also noted that “calls to the factory switchboard have also gone unanswered, with a message stating that the number is temporarily not working.”  This is true, as I immediately called the factory number and that of the public relations department upon reading the article and received the same message both times, that the number has been “temporarily disconnected.”  Interestingly enough, a call placed to the office number of recently departed PR rep Dan Passe went straight to his voicemail.

A later article by Autosport quotes team boss Ken Anderson, “We have applied to the FIA to hold our entry until 2011. It was supposed to be confidential, so I could not really comment on it. It seems to have leaked out though. We are waiting for a reply from the FIA and are working with them. In the mean time, there is nothing for the employees to do, so we have told them to stop working on the current car until we have a decision.”  The team, apparently, will definitely not compete in 2010, though we still have to wait for word on whether they will be allowed to compete in 2011.  The article says that Anderson “is adamant that the team has not closed down,” despite evidence that leads the  mind to the contrary.

This news comes after months of stories that the team was unprepared to race this season, at first seemingly odd stories predicated by Bernie Ecclestone, and most recently from the New York Times and SPEEDtv that the team had asked to miss the first four races of the season and then to defer their entry to 2011.  I am saddened by the news and wish all the best to those who have lost their jobs.  Hopefully, the idea of an American Formula1 team will return, and the sport will begin again to tap into the large American market.

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4 Comments

  1. Like we didn’t see this one coming a mile away right?

  2. Pissed off to be honest, i was a believer (and a european one at that) from day 1, and have only recently started to realise the team wasn’t going to make 2010 yet alone 2011 judging by Windsor and Anderson’s ‘great’ team building over the last 3-4 weeks.

    It’s a huge opportunity lost for the sport to tap into the american market. Instresting news about CNN sponsoring Lotus, now how comes they didn’t want to sponsor USF1 – an american team, maybe they knew they were going to be doomed.

    Bad comments by Anderson about the fact that he’s ‘dissapointed’ the news that they asked to be in for 2011 being leaked to the press and that he wanted to keep it quiet, just shows you how much he’s cared about the supporters of the team and F1 fans in general as the lack of news from the team has been dreadful. I suspect it’ll be a while before we hear from Anderson or Windsor again…

    People may want to read my article on the team which can be found at http://sporttradesreport.blogspot.com/2010/02/usf1-big-opportunity-lost-for-formula-1.html

    Here’s to Stefan GP

  3. How did this end up happening? Weren’t Windsor and Anderson planning on entering F1 for the past few years? I was under the impression that the idea behind USF1 was born long before all the issues last year which ended up with the FIA opening more spots on the grid. How could this team, which I thought had been in the works for years, have failed so miserably when teams like Lotus and Virgin, who only found out a couple of months ago that they were joining F1, have cars running and ready to go.

    I hate to say it, but Ferrari is right. USF1 is out, Campos has yet to be seen, and if I remember correctly, Trulli said his car is 4 seconds off the pace. Virgin has yet to inspire me either. Maybe the next time the FIA decides to add 6 cars to the grid, they will pay more attention to Pro Drive and Lola.

    Even better, if Todt were to make nice with the manufacturers, he could go after VW, which I heard rumors about looking at F1, and to finally have a presence in the US, Ford.

  4. Well, it’s very sad indeed. I really had my hopes up with USF1. The team worked so extremely hard to try and make ends meet. The dream was very much alive and still is for many, including myself. Maybe it will take two, three, or more years, but I’m confident it will eventually happen. While on a time constrain and budget, building a F1 team is like building Rome. It surely isn’t going to happen over night. Peter Windsor did all he could do trying to promote USF1. With his cheery atmosphere and years of conductive experience in F1 he certainly does know the ropes, but there is only so much that can be done when faced with a mountain of challenges. I only wish people frustrated by recent events wouldn’t bark such harsh words towards USF1 as it imposes poor sportsmanship towards all their effort and the entire F1 motor sport.


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